Some of the top teams in central Maine will sqaure off in the annual Cony Duals on Saturday.

Cony, Morse, Gardiner, Skowhegan, Erskine, Mt. Ararat, Winslow, Madison, Westbrook, Oxford Hills, and Mt. Blue are scheduled to compete in the tournament. There will also be a “composite” team formed from independent wrestlers from Messalonskee and Hall-Dale, as well as junior varsity wrestlers from competing teams.

There will be three pools of four teams in this tournament. Each team wrestles the others in the pool. The teams are then ranked based on the results of pool competition and advance to a championship round.

This is the 17th year of the event, Cony coach Shawn Totman said.

“Each team will have five dual matches,” Totman said. “It will be a fun and demanding day for the kids.”

Totman added that the competition will be tight.

“I think this may be the deepest number of quality teams we have ever had in the tournament,” he said. “Skowhegan, Oxford Hills, Cony, Erskine, Morse, and Mt. Blue should all be in the mix to win this year.”

The action is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will continue on four mats throughout the day.

• • •

Skowhegan continued its strong showing to open season when it topped a 16-team field to win the Franklin Savings Bank tournament last weekend at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

The Indians scored 123.5 points to outpace Oxford Hills (108) and Wells (94). Jake Craig (106 pounds), Ricky Oberg (126), Samson Sirois (138) and Jon Bell (170) all won titles for the Indians. Austin Merrill (120) placed second while Chandler Shaw (145) and Brennan Boulette (285) were third.

“I feel that the key to the team’s victory was that we are continually improving and looking for finishes in our matches,” said Skowhegan co-coach Tenney Noyes. “There is a lot that we still need to improve on (but) this was a good stepping stone.”

Craig picked up his third tournament championship gold medal on the season by pinning all three of his opponents.

“Jake continues to drop the hammer,” Noyes said. “He has been dominating right out of the gate as a freshman with six pins and one tech fall. He’s showing all the hard work he’s put in.”

Sirois also won his third tournament. Sirois beat Foxcroft’s RJ Nelson 6-1 in the finals.

“Samson continues to control every match from start to finish,” Noyes added.

Oberg beat Bucksport’s Foster Ashmore 14-8 while Bell defeated Wells’ Drew Peters 4-1 to earn their spot on top of the awards podium.

Messalonskee’s Austin Pelletier finished second at 182 pounds while Anthony Sanborn (285) was third.

• • •

Erskine senior Michael Sprague led the Eagles to a fifth-place team finish at the Franklin Savings Bank tournament by pinning his way to an individual title in the 132-pound class. Sprague, who entered the tournament as the second seed, pinned three opponents, including Madison’s Josh Savage at 5:26 in the championship match.

“The match was pretty close,” said Eagles coach Patrick Vigue. “But then Sprague took him straight to his back from a takedown. It was a big week for Michael, he also recently got his 100th career victory.”

Vigue was happy with the team’s finish.

“We finished ahead of some teams that are traditionally good, solid programs,” he said.

Brock Glidden (152) and Jake Peavey (285) each finished in second place. Glidden lost by pin to Ellsworth’s defending state champion, Peyton Cole.

Peavey built an 8-5 lead in his finals match against Wells’ Sean MacKormack-Kuhman, but a series of three stalling calls in the last minute of the third period put him behind 9-8. Peavey gave MacKormack-Kuhman a one-point escape in the waning seconds of the match in an attempt to tie the match with a takedown. Time expired with Peavey coming up short, losing by a 10-8 decision. Vigue was perplexed by the stalling calls.

“I thought Jake was working hard and wrestling great,” he said.

• • •

Totman acknowledged he was in a quandary when the season began as eight newcomers couldn’t find wrestling shoes at local sporting goods stores.

“I really wanted to make sure that these kids felt like part of the team by having shoes on the first day of practice,” Totman said. “So I put out a message on our team Facebook page asking if any former Cony wrestlers still had shoes they could let them use.”

Enter Micah Adams, a 2013 Cony graduate who delivered in a big way for the program by purchasing new shoes for the squad.

“A few days later, eight boxes of shoes arrived at Cony,” said Totman. “Micah had ordered all the shoes that were needed and had them shipped to us.”

Adams was far from a standout wrestler at Cony, but the sport impacted his life.

“Wrestling was a unique experience,” he said. “It taught me the true value of team work while at the same time it helped me grow as an individual. When you’re on the mat, it’s all about you and what you do to win, but your outcome affects the team. I wanted to help kids who were interested in competing in a sport that provided a pivotal lesson to me when I was younger.”

Adams resides in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where he owns an industrial cleaning company.

“I was truly amazed by his generosity,” said Totman. “Having someone who has been away from Cony wrestling for a while now, still keeping in touch with the program and being willing to help is awesome.”

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